Bobby and Peter Farrelly's latest is a parable about conjoined twins, and though it lacks the laugh-a-minute comic mastery of their magnificent Kingpin or Shallow Hal's cutting insights about body image, Stuck on You is still a big-hearted charmer. They're joined at the hip and they share a liver, but they've led a relatively normal life nonetheless in Martha's Vineyards. But brother Walt (Greg Kinnear) aspires for stardom in Hollywood, and has the acting chops to do it—so how can shy brother Bob (Matt Damon) possibly hold him back? Stuck on You milks the inseparable twins gag for all it's worth with scenes involving one brother taking a shower, or having an intimate conversation, or acting in a one-man-show, or chasing booty while the other has to hang out on the "sidelines." Some of these gags misfire, but once the twins reach Hollywood the Farrellys find plenty of things to say about the movie biz and its obsession with perfect bodies. Playing herself, Cher is Walt n' Bob's diabolical co-star who frets over her career trajectory and the size of her bony ass, and Eva Mendes sends up her manufactured body and breast implants as a sweet natured dumb chippie who befriends the twins. But, truth be told, the central gag wears thin and the Farrelly brothers' sweet sentimentality gets in the way of their storytelling. They deserve a humanitarian award for repeatedly casting actors as characters with developmental disabilities, but this time his actors aren't given a strong enough situation to play in—here they feel like well-intentioned window dressing. Still, the Farrellys convey sincerity and sympathy for their so-called "freaks of nature" and manage to get across a handful of wildly original sequences (the climactic musical number is a bona fide showstopper!). Even in a movie as lax and lightweight as Stuck on You, the Farrelly brothers prove once again how good they are with actors: Meryl Streep, better here than she was in the ludicrous The Hours, proves once again that she's not only one of our great American actresses but one of our greatest comedians (now, if only casting directors would get the hint); Damon's performance is more emotionally honest than his over-emoting Mr. Ripley; and compare the depth and pain of Kinnear's turn to his surfacy performance in Auto Focus. Unfortunately, the Oscars don't give nods to virtuoso comic performances any more than they do David Cronenberg's body-horrored protagonists. It took years for Cronenberg to be taken seriously by the film community; the Farrellys are fast on his heels, even with a lesser work like Stuck on You.
IMAGE / SOUND:
Stuck on You gets a warm and unpretentious transfer every bit as welcoming as the film. Colors are vibrant and sensuous without looking invasive, blacks are solid, and skin tones (even Cher's face) appear positively real. The audio doesn't fare as well. Frequency response is good, as is stereo separation, but the dialogue often sounds flat or muddled, though this appears to be the case more so during scenes where ADR was used.
I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but the Farrelly brothers really don't know how good they are at what they do. Recorded after a long night of shooting The Ringer (the Johnny Knoxville comedy the brothers produced for Fox), this is a noticeably un-caffeinated track. Bobby, whose voice is a shrill version of Peter's, dominates the track, and his contributions are largely uninspired. Peter seems to exist here only to respond to whatever his brother says, like laughing at an actor's name because it sounds like "soupy bowels." Next up are eight excellent deleted/extended/alternate scenes that are not to be missed if you are a serious fan of the film, especially the alternate "Pavlov's Dong" bit. Some are funnier than others while others are flat-out profound. A blooper reel totally misses, as does the "It's Funny" featurette, which features the cast and crews from Stuck on You and other Farrelly Brothers films trying to explain "the Farrelly formula," except the interpretations are no more profound than, "They know how to push the envelope." The "Stuck Together" making-of featurette traces the film's 13-year journey to the big screen and will seriously give Cher fans a major hard-on. Rounding out the disc is "Making it Stick," a make-up effects ode to the fleshy thing that kept Damon and Kinnear stuck together, and trailers for Stuck on You, Cheaper by the Dozen, There's Something About Mary: Collector's Edition, and In Living Color: Season One.
Leave it to the Farrelly brothers to make the most profound ode to brotherly love since the Taviani brothers equally naughty Padre Padrone.